Srinagar: Contradictions in proposals of Chief Drilling Engineer and Senior Drilling Engineer in the Geology & Mining department show their conflict in tendencies on disbanding the most precious drilling wing of the department carrying out the job of mineral exploration over which the Government presently lay greater focus and attention. Though Director Geology & Mining Department says that he would seek fresh explanations from both the Chief Drilling Engineer and as well as the Senior Drilling Engineer but the powers to take final call over several key issues concerning mining exploration activities and deputation of drilling officers to other department are ultimately vested with the Secretary to Government Mining Department.
Informed sources told Kashmir Horizon that though the top mineral sites at Dooru Shahabad and Koot Kapran expected to generate revenue to the tune of several hundreds of crores of rupees to the department are ready for auction but Chief Drilling Engineer in one of his proposals has conveyed to the Director that in view the increasing role of R&B (Mehanical) and PHE department in the ground water exploration and tube well construction no major major work is left for the drilling wing of the mining department. On the contrary insiders in the mining department on conditions of anonymity told Kashmir Horizon that the main job of the drilling wing of the mining department is mineral exploration but not the ground water investigation and tube well construction and as such the views of the Chief Drilling Engineer are obviously part of the vicious campaign of the vested interests hell bent upon to get the precious drilling wing of the department deactived. The insiders in the department on conditions of anonymity also told Kashmir Horizon that Government right now is laying more focus on mineral exploration and very less on ground water investigation and tube well construction which is otherwise done by R&(Mechanical) and PHE Departments for last more than a decade now. The sources in the department also said that the deputation of some officers of the drilling wing to Lake Conservation and Management Authority (LCMA) of Housing And Urban Development Department recently order by the Government is obviously against the spirit of mineral exploration and henceforth the drilling wing of the mining department the sole job of which is mineral exploration. Significantly the proposition of Chief Drilling Engineer are in conflict with a proposal of Senior Drilling Engineer who through a letter to the Director has conveyed to him that while many works have been identified for execution , some of the works like mineral sites at Dooru Shahabad and Kootkapran in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district are ready for auction and will most likely generate income of several hundreds of crores of rupees to the department . The Senior Drilling Engineer has in his letter has showing his disagreement with the deputation of drilling officers to Lakes Conservation & Management Authority (LCMA) in view of their requirement in the conduct of mineral activities in the drilling wings of the department. What deserves the attention of the Government is the deputation of Geological Assistants from Power Development Corporation to Geology and Mining Department which insiders of the department on conditions of anonymity say is part of an attempt to activate the Geology Wing and deactivate the drilling wing of the mining department despite the fact that drilling wing is the backbone of the department.
Director Mining Department O P Bhagat told Kashmir Horizon “ I will call for explanation from both the Chief Drilling Engineer and Senior Drilling Engineer and look into the matter on the basis of merit”. However the the power to take a final call as per rules, past practices and precedence are vested with the Secretary to Government Mining as the issue is obviously connected with the major policy decision of Government,i.e, mining and mineral exploration in Jammu & Kashmir.